Wisconsin had 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending April 26, 2020, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
Dry, clear, and cool weather this week allowed farmers to make great progress on spring fieldwork. Overnight lows were in the 30s or below for much of the state, with multiple frosts and freezes. Sunny and windy conditions during the day helped dry up surplus topsoil moisture.
Farmers worked to bring in the last of the corn left standing over the winter, till fields, and apply fertilizer and manure. Planting took off, with small grains, alfalfa, potatoes, peas, corn, and soybeans all going in the ground. Hay stands were greening up, though it was still too early to judge the extent of winter freeze damage. Reporters across the state commented that planting progress was well ahead of this time last year.
Topsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus.
Spring tillage was 34 percent complete statewide, 12 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of the 5-year average.
Corn planting was 11 percent complete, 13 days ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of the average.
Soybean planting was 2 percent complete, 11 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of the average.
Oats planted were reported as 37 percent complete, 2 weeks ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of the average. Nine percent of the crop was emerged, a week ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of the average.
Potato planting was 31 percent complete, 6 days ahead of last year and 3 days ahead of the average.
Winter wheat was 59 percent in good to excellent condition statewide, up 7 percentage points from last week.
Pasture condition was rated 51 percent in good to excellent condition, 5 percentage points above last week.